Why does BMW want drivers to be (even more) distracted?

BMW is integrating Skype for Business into new cars.  The features will be integrated into the new BMW series in parts of Europe. Other markets—including the U.S.— should see it soon.  “Microsoft Exchange will also integrate calendars, to-do lists and contacts using the car’s voice and navigation systems,” according to the company’s press release. Here’s why this strikes me as incredibly, obviously dangerous. 1. A car is not an office.  Cars are “rapidly turning into “mobile office[s] on wheels” said BMW spokesperson Nadja Horn.  No, they are not. Your primary task in your office is work. Your primary task in your car is driving.  Anything that distracts you from that task is dangerous.  This has nothing to do with work ethic, your commitment to your employer, or your ability to

What will stop texting and driving? Jail time.

The most effective way to stop drivers from texting might be the threat of criminal charges. Texting while driving is illegal in 46 states. (Text messages are not the sole culprit—there are dozens of possible distractions on your smartphone—but only 16 states ban all hand-held devices for drivers.)* You don’t need statistics to know that drivers are constantly breaking this law. Just stand at an intersection on any busy street, and count the number of drivers who are looking down. If the fear of a citation isn’t enough, and fear of a crash isn’t enough, what will stop this dangerous behavior? Texting drivers get charged with manslaughter A driver does not have to intend to kill anyone in order to be guilty of vehicular manslaughter.

New Washington State distracted driving law: what you need to know

A decade ago, the Washington State distracted driving law was passed – and became one of the first state laws regulating drivers’ cell phone use. Since then, mobile devices have changed dramatically—and distracted driving has become an even bigger problem. On May 16, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5389: a new, more comprehensive distracted driving law. But he vetoed the section of the bill that put the law into effect on January 1, 2019. Instead, the new distracted driving law will take effect starting in July 2017. Washington State Distracted Driving Law Here’s what you need to know. Old Law No sending, reading or writing text messages while driving No holding the phone to your ear $124 fine Violations do not affect driving record, are

What distracted driving opponents can (and can’t) learn from drunk driving

Guess when the first drunk driving law was enacted? Back in 1910. That was surprising to me. 100+ years after this problem was identified, about ten thousand people will die in an alcohol-related crash in the U.S. this year. The early laws prohibited driving while intoxicated, but there was no metric, no way to test, and no guidelines to ensure equal enforcement. After a few decades, technological improvements—first the Drunkometer, and then the Breathalyzer—made it easier for police officers to measure intoxication. Still, there were few—or no—penalties for drunk driving. No one lost a driver’s license. Jail was a place to “sleep it off.” Drunk driving crashes were considered ‘accidents’ that no one really meant to cause. In 1966, Congress passed

What are we going to do about fatal distracted driving crashes?

Just a couple of decades ago, alcohol was a factor in nearly half of all fatal crashes in the U.S. Since then, social and legal changes have sliced that number in half.     Even thought it is still far too many senseless deaths, it is a lot of progress. We looked at lessons from drunk driving legislation and change in Part 1. What can distracted driving opponents do to make similar changes? How do we reduce fatal distracted driving crashes? The distracted driving problem didn’t originate with cellphones. It just become much more widespread and obvious. Distracted driving laws may be necessary, but the history of drunk driving legislation showed us that they are not sufficient. Chances are, driving is

Lawmakers searching for practical solution to distracted driving

Distracted driving is a serious issue on the roadways of Washington, as well as across our country. There are basically 3 forms of distracted driving: visual, cognitive, and manual. Visual distraction occurs when the driver is looking at anything except the road, i.e. their cellphone. Cognitive distraction is when the driver’s mind isn’t on the road or driving conditions, i.e. daydreaming or thinking about an upcoming task. Manual distraction is removing one or both hands from the wheel for some task other than driving, i.e. eating, or reaching for something in the car. A stronger Washington law The current Washington state law, in effect since 2008, only directly penalizes manual distraction. “A person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device


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